CoPEG: Concentrating Photovoltaic Evacuated Glazing

Thursday, 30 October 2014


In the EU buildings are responsible for 40% of primary energy consumption and a commensurate level of carbon dioxide emissions. Global legislation demands that buildings must now meet minimum energy performance and carbon emission requirements. Therefore developing technologies that reduce the heating and cooling requirements of a building and offer effective renewable energy alternatives are imperative.

CoPEG meets this demand. Scientists at the Ulster University have developed a patented innovative technology for the production of a modular façade unit that integrates evacuated glazing technology with transparent concentrating PV lens. CoPEG is a multi-functional glazing façade element for energy saving, power generation and daylight control.

Proof of Concept research conducted at the Ulster University indicates that with the CoPEG technology forming part of the building envelope, the unit will provide:

  • High thermal insulation for the building, reducing heating and cooling requirements.
  • Low cost and carbon free electricity generation from the sun.
  • Control of daylight penetration into the building.

In addition with the integration of the renewable PV technology and the move towards “intelligent’ buildings, CoPEG will help adherence to the EU Energy Performance of Building Directive.



The current technology concept consists of an evacuated glazing panel where one pane of glass is shaped into a series of concentrating lens. A thin layer of photovoltaic cells is placed at the focus of each concentrating lens. An optional third glass pane can be added to the back of the PV concentrating lens to encase the PV cells.

The evacuated glazing minimizes convective and conductive heat transfer providing high thermal insulation to the building. Solar radiation is transmitted through the outer glass pane and concentrated onto the PV cells generating electricity. The concentrating PV lens can be designed to direct part of the incident solar radiation onto the ceiling of the building interior at times when natural lighting is needed such as in the morning or afternoon.

The lenses can also be designed to produce a seasonal effect with more light allowed into the building in the winter months and less in the summer. In cooling dominated climates, the CoPEG can significantly reduce solar heat gain into the building by concentrating all incident sunlight onto the PV cells.

Opportunity/Partnership Sought

Fergus Begley

Technology Commercialisation Manager,

Research & Innovation,

Ulster University,

Tel: +44 (0) 28 7167 5636